Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ancient Christmas Events

This week I'm introducing some old-time Christmas events and would like your opinions about how Christmas has changed over the years. What traditions or rituals do you do that you really enjoy or like and which ones do you dislike? I'd love to hear about them.

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.

The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.

In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Fast Facts

  • Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.
  • In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous-a lot like today's Mardi Gras parties.
  • From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.
  • Christmas wasn't a holiday in early America- in fact Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the country's first Christmas under the new constitution.
  • Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.
  • The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith's 1607 Jamestown settlement.
  • Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsettia, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
  • The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890's.
  • Rudolph, "the most famous reindeer of all," was the product of Robert L. May's imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
  • Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

Only 38 days remaining!!!! Be sure to check back once a week to read my blog (posted on Sundays) which will contain holiday history and trivia throughout the end of the Year.

Leave me a comment as welll. I would love to hear from you. Thanks!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Return toChristmas-Anthology

This anthology is compiled of four short inspiring and uplifting Christmas stories which should help you get into the true Christmas spirit. Not the spirit of buying presents for everyone you know but sharing love, being with family, overcoming bad times, for one day of the year everyone is happy, just loving 'it all' spirit of Christmas.

That's the feeling I hope this book will give you to help kick off the season, not in the commercialized way it's become but in a loving and sharing way. Please take a minute to download your own copy at

Be sure to visit me at my website; I'd love to hear from you!